6 in 10 Americans think the economy is not okay right now

Six in 10 Americans believe the country’s economy is in recession, according to the latest poll by PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist, despite signs of job growth and easing inflation. More than half believe President Joe Biden is undermining the economy.

As the country prepares for midterm elections that will determine who controls Congress, people’s views of the country’s economic outlook appear to be shaped not only by turmoil and conflicting indicators, but also by politics. .

The majority of Democrats and Biden 2020 voters aren’t seeing a recession. Everyone else seems to disagree. Most Republicans and independents say economic growth in the United States has slowed, and that impression holds true for the majority of nearly every other demographic group. We haven’t seen the same level of economic pessimism since his March 2013 under Obama. This is because employers cut employee health benefits as part of the Affordable Care Act began to take effect and the country’s GDP lacked luster.

recession trend site

Chart by Megan McGrew/PBS NewsHour

In recent months, people are likely still reeling from historic inflationary pains, the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates, and the slump in the stock market.

There is also startling evidence to counter that pessimism. The country’s job market has recovered about 17 million jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate has hovered above 3%, down from a record high of 14.7% in April 2020. Americans earning the lowest salaries experienced wage growth that, for many, offset rising costs of living. And COVID relief in the form of child tax credits, eviction moratoriums, and aid has come directly to people, not just businesses, says The New School for Social Research in Economics and Urban Policy. Darrick Hamilton, professor at

Unlike the Great Recession, when people lost their homes and jobs and policymakers bailed out banks and businesses, Hamilton said money was flowing “directly to people” to mitigate losses from the pandemic. Did. But inflation has reshaped how people perceive those gains. They feel that the dollar is not as strong as it used to be when shopping for groceries or going to pay bills.

Hamilton explained that this didn’t happen overnight, but after decades of racist and classist policies. It’s a big part of the economy’s productivity gains,” he said. “It’s manifesting at a level of inequality not seen since the Gilded Age that preceded the Great Depression.”

What Matters Right Now for Voters

In this latest poll, 30% of Americans said they would prioritize inflation in their November vote. Republicans, independents, and non-college-educated white men are most likely to cite it as their biggest problem.

Falling gasoline prices suggest inflation may be easing, and overall, economic concerns have eased since July, when 37% of US adults cited price increases as their top vote issue. I was. But we may not get significant relief or change the situation before elections are held in two months.

Top issue party site

The economy is not the only priority for voters.

One in five Americans (22%) say abortion is the most important thing when voting in midterm elections. This includes 35% of Democrats and 39% of college-educated white women.

Additionally, six in 10 Americans said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade made them more likely to vote this fall. Statistically, that stance hasn’t abated since shortly after the court issued its final opinion in his Dobbs v. Jackson case in June.

Overall, an additional 13% of Americans say health care will be their top priority.

1 in 5 Democrats say Jan. 6 commission hearings investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol and the role former President Donald Trump and his administration played on that deadly day He said he was motivated by the meeting. Just like many Republicans are concerned about immigration.

Who is in charge here?

Confidence in President Joe Biden’s economic leadership has declined since July 2021, according to this latest Marist poll. His 57% of U.S. adults say his decisions will undermine the economy, including nearly all Republicans, his 63% of independents, and his non-college-educated whites. 76% of him included. For Biden, it’s 12 points worse than it was over a year ago.

Biden Weakening Economy Site

Chart by Megan McGrew/PBS NewsHour

Biden’s overall approval rating improved slightly to 41%, up 3% in a matter of weeks.

look: How Democrats United Over Inflation Control Laws

If Americans feel Biden isn’t serving them well with their wallet problems, is someone doing better? I think we are dealing with it. Fewer 26% of Americans feel the same way about Democrats. One in five of her Americans said neither party was in control of the economy.

While there’s plenty of history to suggest Democrats can struggle in polling places, the president’s feelings about economic control don’t always dictate fate. In 2018, Americans felt more optimistic about the economy under Trump, according to Marist poll data. But Amy Walter, publisher and editor of the Cook Political Report, said, “Many of those same voters ended up supporting Democrats.”

Today, a majority of Americans feel the country is already in recession and trust Republicans more than Democrats to get the country’s economy back to growth, Walter said. Yet Democrats still hold a narrow lead in the popular vote.

Read more: Watch: Two Economists on the Current Direction of the U.S. Economy

Democrats have held steady at 48% since the beginning of this summer, while Republicans are gaining momentum. If the November elections took place today, 44% of his registered voters nationwide said they would vote Republican, up 3% from June.

As Democrats tout their accomplishments, from passing major legislation to cutting prescription drug costs to helping families during the pandemic, Walter said the midterm elections aren’t over yet. Or are you going to say, ‘It’s not enough and I think the Republican Party can do better’?”

PBS NewsHour, NPR, and the Marist Poll surveyed 1,236 U.S. adults (with a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points) and 1,151 registered voters (with a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points) from August 29 through September 1. It was conducted.

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